Nicola Sturgeon considering 'new steps' to slow COVID-19 spread
Nicola Sturgeon is considering what “new steps” could be necessary to control the spread of COVID-19, including the possibility of further limiting the number of people who can gather together.
Speaking ahead of a mandatory review of public health restrictions in Parliament on Thursday, the First Minister said she cannot rule out putting in place further limits similar to those announced for England on Tuesday evening.
She said the Scottish Government is “carefully reviewing existing guidance and regulation, including what new steps may be necessary to keep COVID-19 under control.”
Sturgeon made the comments during the daily coronavirus press briefing.
She also confirmed that for a second day there had been an increase in COVID-19 cases across all the healthboards on mainland Scotland.
As of Tuesday there had been 159 new positive test cases for COVID-19, which represented 1.9 per cent of all tests carried out in the previous 24 hours.
Of those 63 were in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area, 29 in Lothian, 19 in Lanarkshire and 10 in the Fourth Valley area.
In total, according to weekly statistics from the National Records of Scotland, there were two deaths linked to COVID-19 in the past week.
Sturgeon was joined at the briefing by interim Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith, who described Scotland as having reached a “precarious” place, in light of the rise in COVID-19 cases.
Hinting at the introduction of new public health restrictions to slow the spread, Sturgeon said: “Tomorrow’s review of the lockdown regulations, which I’ll set out in parliament, is likely, based on all the recent data, to take a very cautious approach to any further changes.
“In fact we can’t rule out the need to make changes to the numbers of people allowed to gather together, like those announced for England last night.
“We’re carefully reviewing existing guidance and regulation, including what new steps may be necessary to keep COVID-19 under control.”
She added: “All of us have a part to play in this”.
Asked for clarification on whether new restrictions would be put in place, she said: “I’m not going to pre-empt the announcement I will make in parliament tomorrow, but I’ve said a few times this week, I think.
“I’ve used terms like ‘putting the brakes on’ and ‘not going ahead with things that we’d hoped to be going ahead with, given the evidence that we’re seeing right now’.
“So, people can draw a direction of travel from that, but in terms of the detail, I’m duty bound to set that out before parliament tomorrow.
“In any event, the way we take decisions in these three-weekly reviews mean that we haven’t yet finalised the decisions that we’re taking on these things.”